Being involved in a collision is a traumatic experience. Whether you suffer physical, emotional or financial damages, moving on can be difficult. However, there are some steps you can take following a car accident that might make securing help in the future easier.
It can be difficult to think straight after a serious wreck, but one of the most important things for you to do is to stay put. Leaving the scene of an accident before it is appropriate to do so may reflect badly on you or even lead to criminal charges. You want to avoid being accused of being a hit and run driver, especially if you did not cause the accident.
Check for injuries and other damages
Some car accident injuries require immediate medical attention. If you suffer severe injuries in an accident, you might be transported to a hospital for medical attention. However, other injuries take time to surface, and you may be able to stay at the scene. Be sure to check yourself and others for possible injuries, and do not move anyone who has back or neck pain.
After checking on everyone involved, you should turn your attention to your vehicle. Take note of any significant damage and take pictures of what you can. You should also call the police to report the accident.
Gather important information
While it may be tempting to apologize for something while still at the scene of the accident, be sure to avoid doing so as someone else could use that apology as evidence of legal liability — even if you were not at fault. However, you should get contact information for every driver who was involved in the accident. If possible, get as much of the following information as possible:
- Phone numbers
- Drivers’ license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
It is also a good idea to get contact information for any passengers. If there were witnesses to the accident, you can try to get their contact information and statements about what happened. Since human memory is not always reliable as time goes on, information taken at the scene can be very helpful in the future.
Notify your own insurance company
You should promptly notify your insurance company of the accident. Although you may not have caused the accident, it is still important to cooperate with them throughout this process. You might also find it helpful to submit any police reports about the accident to help demonstrate that you were not at fault.
Unfortunately, notifying the insurance company is far from the end of things. If you suffered an injury in a car accident, then you probably need help paying for medical bills and covering other damages like lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit is often one of the best options for someone in your situation, and following the above steps is just the beginning of this process.